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Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
farther than today.
-Longfellow, A Psalm of
Hello, my name is Yingbo Song and I am a fourth year PhD student in the computer science department at Columbia. Before this I was a masters student here between September 2005 and December 2006. I am majoring in computer science with a research focus on machine learning-based intrusion detection systems and network security. Machine Learning can be roughly described as artificial intelligence, reinvented by statisticians. It is a rapidly growing discipline that - in a nutshell - tries to train computers to automatically learn to solve problems based on examples, with the goal that the quality of the derived solutions improves over time as more experience is gained.
Intelligent machines can be deployed to a broad range of tasks, such as playing chess, driving tanks, predicting stock market performances or searching for Sarah Connor, or in my case, learning to detect if someone is trying to hack into your network. They can be designed to do things and go to places that a human can't or won't. Hopefully, they will eventually outperform their human counterparts. That day, however, is still years away -- we really don't appreciate the true enormity of human intelligence until we try to emulate it.
I am affiliated with Columbia's IDS lab primarily, I also work with the Machine
Learning lab and Network
My Erdős number
is at most 4: Yingbo Song → Tony Jebara → Tommi
Jaakkola → Noga Alon → Paul Erdős
SHORT BIO AND INTERESTS
I was born in Harbin, China and
came to the U.S. when I was eight years old. I lived in Flushing
Queens in NYC then moved to New Jersey where I attended high school
and did my undergraduate studies, and now I'm back in the city for
Columbia. When I was younger I liked rollerblading, sketch art and
computers. These days my main interests are in computers, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Tae Kwon Do, recreational shooting, road cycling, and reading. I like to read about politics, philosophy, history and anything military-related. On my bookshelf you'll find Stroustrup next to Vapnik next to Clausewitz. The picture above was taken during the summer of 2008 while I was working at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque New Mexico, I got to fly a plane around Kirtland Airforce Base and the Sandia mountains.
I study machine learning because I believe that this field, and related disiplines,
can be used to reduce the human cost of war in the future. For each
dangerous position filled by an intelligent machine another soldier
could get a chance to go home.
Anyways, welcome to my site. Here, you will
find some information about me, my academic life, research interests
and projects, some interesting quotes that I've collected, and various
computer related stuff. Feel free to send
me an email if you have any questions or comments.